July 10

Day 69

Start – Sonora Pass, Mile 1016, 3:15 pm

End – Mile 1025, 7pm

Miles – 9

Getting back on the trail feels weird, doesn’t feel real yet. My hair isn’t dirty enough and my clothes are too clean. Everyone can probably tell I’ve been sleeping in a bed and eating real meals.

So for now I feel like a day Hiker trying to pass. It didn’t help that I spent a week basically at sea level and then drive right back up to 10,000 feet and had to crest a small ridge as the first order of business. My lungs were out of practice with the altitude and my feet felt betrayed that I was making them do this again.

We stopped and picked up some hitchhikers on the way to the trailhead and they were hikers who had started nearly a month after I did. So I’m with the back of the pack as I expected. There will be fewer folks to meet along the way at this point.

The views along Sonora continue to be lovely as the landscape changes from the high Sierra to lower, more gently rolling terrain. I wanted to get about ten miles in so that I can then get to Tahoe in about three full days. That part worked out as I made the campground I had in mind by 7.

Met a couple other folks including a father/son pair who are going South from Echo Lake to Tuolumne and a woman named Token heading North. So I’m not completely at the back, which was reassuring. We spent about an hour sitting around a campfire ring (no campfire) sharing experiences and anything we’ve heard about the trail ahead. That helped make it all feel normal again.

Part of me is still wondering what the hell I’m doing back out here, but I don’t think I was ready to be done living in this alternative reality where people are friendly and most of my interactions are positive.

With rumors of trail magic up ahead I’m going to try to push thing tomorrow to see if my feet really remember how to do this.

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